There are two things that all exercise programs should be: safe and effective. Working out with poor exercise technique can be unsafe and ineffective.
Being fit doesn’t mean you have good technique
Maybe you have good cardio endurance (stamina) or you do heavy resistance training. Or perhaps you take part in a sport regularly. All these activities would lead to a good level of fitness. However, being fit doesn’t necessarily mean you are exercising with good technique. Some common examples of bad exercise form are:
- Runners leaning forward or rounding their shoulders, taking small, flat-footed steps and letting their knees turn inwards.
- In the gym, men tend to use weights which are too heavy for them to lift in a controlled way. Women, on the other hand, tend to go to the other extreme. They choose very light weights and then wave them around ineffectively.
- In group exercise classes, people are often competitive and want to do the “advanced” version of exercises, rather than focusing on the quality of their movement.
- In Pilates classes. it’s common for participants to do exercises incorrectly because of lack of core strength. This means that they take the strain of hard exercises in the wrong muscles – usually the lower back.
- Lunges are a good exercise for working all the leg muscles if you do them properly. Common mistakes include: leaning forwards or backwards, having the feet wrongly positioned, wobbling, not lunging deep enough.
- Squats also work all the leg muscles, but again, you need to do them properly. Mistakes include: arching the lower back, lifting the heels off the floor, extending the neck, letting the knees roll inwards.
Improve you technique to improve your results
While people doing exercises with poor technique may be fit, they are risking injury and aren’t getting the best possible results from their efforts. Training goals like having flat abs or toned glutes aren’t possible to achieve with bad technique.
Corrective exercise programs improve movement control, exercise technique, core strength and flexibility. Once you start to exercise with good technique, you’ll find that you get more out of your workouts and that you can progress more easily to a higher level of fitness.